President and CEO of L’Oreal Canada provides some ‘Food For Thought’

Yesterday I had the good fortune of being invited by Aditya Shah of Loose Button to their Food For Thought series at the La Maquette Italian restaurant in downtown Toronto.

This particular series featured guests from companies such as Syncapse, AshCity, TIFF, LinkedIn Canada, Guardly, Rogers, and Environics.  Representing thirdocean and XConnect at this luncheon with these other companies was exciting and humbling to say the least.

This month’s featured speaker was Javier San Juan, President and CEO of L’Oreal Canada.  To give you an idea of how large L’Oreal Canada is, they have sales of over $1 billion in Canada with a market share of over 30% which leads the entire beauty market in Canada.

The talk of the afternoon, however, was not on the state of the beauty and cosmetics industry in Canada.  The discussion was on the reason L’Oreal has pursued a digital and social strategy.

Javier discussed 5 points on L’Oreal and social media:

  1. Internal Culture and Communications.  Previously, communications was a top-down activity.  With the integration of internal social tools, however, employees are now obligated to voice their views.  Said Javier, “We listen to our customers and our employees.”
  2. Brand Ownership. “We don’t own our brands anymore.  But we can shape the discussion and conversation that is taking place about our brands.”
  3. Relevancy.  Unlike traditional push-marketing social media marketing is more about discussion.  As a result, messaging has become more relevant and more about conversations.
  4. Content Revolution.  Today when you watch or listen to a commercial, or drive by a billboard there is almost zero chance of that content spreading.  The very definition of social media includes the ability to share and discuss this content with friends, family and acquaintances.
  5. Connect.  L’Oreal decided to become involved in social media not because it was sexy but because it allowed L’Oreal to connect, communicate and share with their employees and consumers.
Why does your company use social media and how does it approach a social strategy?